If you are interested in Astronomy and can’t afford the telescope at the moment (we all know how expensive they are) you can definitely buy binoculars to fulfill your interest. It is always better to invest in high-quality Astronomy or Stargazing Binoculars rather than investing in a cheap Telescope. Also, Binoculars have some advantage over the telescope like they provide a wide field of view, they are portable enough to carry, and we can use both our eyes to observe which feels more natural to us. In fact, binoculars are also referred as “The first Telescope” and even a seasoned astronomer always keeps one by the telescope.
The following guide will help you to choose The best binoculars for astronomy/stargazing, as well as provide a quick review of top astronomy binoculars.
Features to look forward before Buying a perfect Stargazing Binocular are,
- Objective lens Diameter
- Exit pupil
- Eye relief
Let’s discuss these points one by one.
What is magnification?
Magnification is the amount of time the Binocular will magnify the object. Let’s say we have “bcd7X30” binocular here “bcd” is brand name and 7x is the magnification. That means if the object is 700ft away then it will appear to be 100ft from us with a binocular.
Ideal magnification for an Astronomy Binoculars
Ideal magnification for an astronomical binocular depends on the way you are going to use it.
- For Handheld use
Hand holding a binocular is a relaxing and inexpensive way to enjoy astronomy. We can quickly scan the sky for stars or planets with them (pick up and go type). Ideal magnification for handheld use is below 12x. Binoculars with a magnification of 7x to 12x are perfect for astronomy.
At magnification above 12x, it gets very difficult to keep the image steady even a small movement of hand will result in the blurry image.
- Using with tripod
If you are going to use your Binocular with a tripod then the amount of magnification really doesn’t matter. You can even go for higher magnification like 20X or 25X in according to your budget because stability factor is taken care by a tripod.
Objective lens diameter
It is the size of the lens through which light enters into the tube. More the light enters into the tube, brighter and sharper image will be. In the above example, “bcd7X30” 30mm is the diameter of the objective lens also Known as Aperture.
Ideal objective lens diameter (aperture) for,
- Handheld use
The ideal size of the lens for astronomical binoculars is 50mm. They are inexpensive, lighter in weight and also have enough aperture to provide the breathtaking view of the night sky.
Remember higher aperture will result in bulky and heavy binoculars which can cause a strain on our shoulder when used for long duration.
- Using with tripod
If you are going to mount your Binocular on a tripod, go for the highest objective lens diameter (aperture) that you can afford. We always suggest a minimum 70mm aperture to Beginners.
Astronomy is a night time activity so another important feature we should also consider before buying an astronomical binocular is exit pupil. Exit pupil is the diameter of the image formed on the eyepiece of binocular (aperture/ magnification). In low light condition pupils of our eye dilate about 5mm to 7mm or 9mm in some case.
So, always opt for binoculars having a minimum exit pupil of 5mm. However larger giant binoculars compensate the less exit pupil with its large size of the objective lens.
Eye relief & Coating
Eye relief is a fixed distance from exit pupil to the eyepiece of binocular. If you are an eyeglass wearer, always consider buying a binocular having a minimum 15mm eye relief otherwise do not worry about eye relief.
There are 4 different types of coating done on the glass to minimize the reflectivity of glass.
Coated (C): A single layer on at least one lens.
Fully-Coated (FC): A single layer on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Multi-Coated (MC): Multiple layers on at least one lens.
Fully Multi-Coated (FMC): Multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces.
**Always go for Binoculars having fully multicoated optics (FMC).
On the basis of above mentioned features, following is the list of standout performers in this category.
The Best Binoculars for Astronomy and Stargazing (Perfect for handheld use).
1) Celestron 71198 Cometron 7×50 Binoculars
Magnification: 7 x
Eye Relief (mm): 13 mm (0.51 in)
Apparent Field of View: 6.8°
Optical Coatings: Multi-coated
Prism Glass (Type): BK7
Close Focus (Binoculars): 26.2ft / 8m ft. (7.99 m)
Relative Brightness: 50
Water Proof: No
Price: 34$ approx.
Cometron 7×50 binoculars from Celestron is an ideal pair of binoculars for amateur or beginner users. With 50mm aperture, it gathers enough light to provide a bright and sharp image of stars, comets, and craters of the moon. Cometron also provides 6.8-degree wide field of view that helps to locate objects in the sky without constantly moving the binoculars.
Some of the compromises have also been done to reduce the price of the binoculars like it has a multi coating (MC) not FMC which I generally recommend but at the 35$ price, you just can’t expect that coating. FMC (fully multi coated) will cost more than MC(multi coated) optics.
Eyeglass wearer will find it difficult to use due to the less eye relief of 13mm.
2) Orion 09351 UltraView 10×50 Wide-Angle Binoculars
(Our #1 Recommendation for Handheld Use)
Optical diameter: 50mm
Angular field of view: 6.5°
Exit pupil: 5.0mm
Near focus: 16 ft.
Coatings: Fully multi-coated
Prism: BAK-4 Porro
Focus style: Center focus
Tripod Adaptable: Yes
Diopter adjustment: Yes
Weight: 2.0 lbs.
Warranty: Ten year
Price: 175$ approx.
Orion UltraView 10×50 Wide-Angle Binoculars are the perfect option for an eyeglass wearer. A large eye relief of 22mm with twist lock rubber cups allows an observer to get a full field of view even with eyeglasses or sunglasses (perfect for both terrestrial as well as celestial viewing).
UltraView 10×50 features a finest Bak-4 glass prism and fully multi coated optics that provides a higher light transmission and results in a clearer, brighter and sharper images. Center focus wheel helps to focus just with fingertips.
UltraView also features a wider field of view of 6.5degree. Quite large than the other binoculars in this range. Wide field of view allows to quickly scan the sky for stars, moons, planets. Rubber armoring and finger grooves save the binocular from scratches and falls.
Orion is providing a warranty of 10 years on this binoculars. Yes, they are that much confident about the quality of the product.
The Best Binoculars for Astronomy & Stargazing (Larger models compatible with tripod)
1) Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Diameter: 70 mm (2.76 in)
Magnification: 15 x
Exit Pupil: 4.7 mm (0.19 in)
Eye Relief: 18 mm (misprinted on Amazon)
Near Focus (Binoculars): 43 ft. (13.11 m)
Optical Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Carrying Case: Nylon
Weather Proof: Water Resistant
Tripod Adaptable: Yes
Weight: 1360.78 g
Price: 70$ approx.
Highly rated (above 4 stars from more than 5000 satisfied customers on Amazon only) Skymaster 15X70 binoculars are the preferred choice of any seasoned astronomer. A large objective lens of 70mm with multi coated optics provides a brighter and sharper view of further celestial objects like nebulae, galaxies (Andromeda, M81, M82, M44, M50, etc.), star clusters, and the moons around Jupiter.
Binocular’s powerful optics, sharp images, solid reviews, convenient features, and tripod and terrestrial viewing capabilities at an unbelievable price is the highlight of the telescope. Celestron life time warranty is an icing on the cake.
Guys, there are two other Binoculars that are available from Celestron SkyMaster series. With same advanced features mentioned above but with a larger aperture and more magnification power.
If your budget allows spending over 100$ you can definitely go for larger Aperture and higher Magnification to get an even detailed view of the sky. Don’t worry about the quality they are also from the Celestron SkyMaster series and comes with a life time warranty.
1) Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 Binoculars (Price 105$ approx.)
2) Celestron SkyMaster 25X100 ASTRO Binoculars (Price 300$ approx.)
Tripod is the most important accessory for a heavy and giant Binoculars. Don’t hesitate to invest some extra money in a high quality tripod. As someone in the comment section on Amazon rightly said: “A bad tripod for heavy Binoculars is like bad tires on a fast sports car”.
Davis & Sanford EXPLORERV Vista Explorer 60” Tripod with Tripod Bag (Price 25$ approx.)
To the Readers!!!
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